Fulton County offering incentives to attract, retain needed teachers amid shortage

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — School districts in metro Atlanta are dealing with teacher shortages, especially special education teachers, so one district is offering thousands of dollars in signing bonuses for new teachers and more money to keep teachers.

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“Most universities are not producing enough special education teachers,” said Fulton County Schools recruiter Ron Wade.

With demand high and supply low for teachers in metro Atlanta, Fulton County schools administrators had to do something different to attract more teachers for this upcoming school year.

“This probably going to be the most competitive staffing season in K-12 in the Atlanta metro area,” Wade said. “We can no longer do the same old things when it comes to acquiring this talent.”

So, they’re offering more money and more paid days to get work done.

The hiring incentives range from $2,500 to $7,500 for paraprofessionals and full-time special education teachers.

Retention incentives to keep teachers range from $1,200 to $2,500

Then there’s something new: paid days to get work done that were previously not in the budget. Teachers can earn up to nearly $400 a day.

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Some parents told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes they think this is a great idea and long overdue.

“That is awesome,” Natesha Newton said. “Any way to get those bodies in the classroom to teach the children, do what you got to do.”

Other parents don’t think incentives are the way.

“Everyone always thinks they need more money of course and deserve more money, but there’s a limit on what a district can afford to pay,” one parent said.

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Fulton County has already set aside the money to get these teachers in the door and to keep the teachers they have.

If you’re interested, go to their website to apply.

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